4 food comas for the win

I ate a Thanksgiving meal four times in four days.

I don't know that I've ever achieved something so ridiculous before in my life.

FOUR TIMES.

Between families and friendsgiving parties, I literally ate every version and twist of classics like green bean casseroles, sweet potatoes, stuffing and turkey you could possibly imagine.

Oh, and did I mention the OSU party filled with football dip, chips and more? I'm pretty sure the two workouts didn't even scratch the surface of all the calories I consumed over the weekend. Do I feel bad about it? Not one bit. That's what the next 21 days are for before we start again with Christmas week.

Cousins and significant others; the BEST contribution I've ever made to Turkey day and adorable kids
Desserts on desserts; mothers with their daughters

It's really not a weekend unless you celebrate birthday - a 32nd birthday to be exact. What we didn't expect was to find a very kind man named Danny in the bar with a rabbit named Toby. (I couldn't make this up if I tried.)

Birthday girl; the popular rabbit and a leopard cake with a feather

To sum up the past four days, it was pretty much my kind of extended weekend that you need to kick the holidays off to an amazing start with food comas and all.

in and out at the Cleveland Flea

If you missed the Cleveland Flea this weekend, you have another chance to pick up so many amazing holiday gifts at the next one which I think is December 13 and 14th. Don't quote me - it was written on a chalkboard as I walked out and I didn't snap a picture!

Rule #1 - Get there early.

Like no, really, when it opens early and plan to stay for about an hour (maybe 2 at the most) because it gets packed. When my friend and I stopped in on Sunday, we got there by 11 and left just at noon and were able to scope out the entire food section and wander our way through the other vendor section to see all the jewelry, vintage clothing, candles and leather handbags with some serious craftsmanship for $350. Why yes, I want one of these fine bags.

Here are some of my favorite finds on Sunday.

Grab some food first before your peruse all the vendors. My vote - a Brewnut is a great choice.

Find a fur coat for $350 that you ABSOLUTELY NEED - OMG it's gorgeous

I could really buy all of Anne's jewelry. It's so delicate and beautiful. 

Those bracelets are my next purchase. 

These remind me of my grandmother's house only they were white and had ornaments on them. 

Picked up 4 tiny magnets from Studio KMR at only $3 each

What other great vendors did I miss?

Sunday funday at the museum

I'm down to read and watch anything about fashion any time of the day. Mention a book? I'll grab it. Tell me about a new blog? I'll read it.

I absolutely treasure my time with my fashion magazines each month. I've narrowed mine down to two each month with Harper's Bazaar and Lucky and supplement any more inspiration with Refinery29, the Glitter Guide and all the serious fashionistas on Instagram. I can't get enough of your street style with booties, sneakers, ripped/leather jeans and oversized faux fur jackets. You are SPEAKING my language.

Enter Sunday. A quiet afternoon spent with my mom while we watched "Advanced Style" based on the amazing blog from Ari where he photographs fabulous women from 62 to 95. In the beginning of the movie, Ari shares that he was closest with his late grandmother and always been captivated by older women's style from a young age. So, this blog is a living journal of women all around the world  who have exquisite style.

Look how awesome she is!
rings, necklaces and glamour all at the ripe age of 70 and 90!

These women rock.

They are fierce and fearless in the way they approach everything from life to fashion.

My favorite story was that of Ilona Smithkin who is the petite redhead pictured above who is an artist and a lover of making her OWN eyelashes out of her own HAIR! Yes, she does that! She cuts some of her and makes them her eyelashes that are so long and feathery. How can you NOT fall in love with that little lady!


Mother and daughter day out



the city was on fire and then it snowed

Two big things happened in Cleveland last week.

1) Lebron came back. Downtown Cleveland prepared a homecoming fit for a king with celebrities galore but Canada - you can seriously keep the Bieber and his Pharrell like hat he decided to wear to the game.

Downtown was electric all Thursday as ESPN set up the stage right outside my apartment early that morning. My friend compared the amount of people to that of St. Patrick's Day only flip the colors to wine and gold because that's how many people were piled into the 3 block radius of the Q.


The city, the star's new banner and us sending a picture to a very jealous friend


Those Loudville seats aren't that bad.


2) There were snowflakes. Now maybe they weren't quite full fledged snowflakes but it was so flipping cold Saturday morning as my friend and I ran the Bernie Shuffle. Two years ago, we ran the Reindeer Race which was cold but completely expected as it was in DECEMBER. On Friday, there was a very serious text exchange between us where I was trying to get her to bail but she convinced me to just run it with her. As we walked the whole mile to the race start, I'm pretty sure we were laughing the whole entire way as we were soaked by the misting rain and almost blown away by the wind. Did it stop the race from happening? No way. Don't even think about. Everyone came out in their best Browns gear but my fingers were too cold to snap that many photos of the brown and orange tutus, suits and other awesome outfits.

We ran the whole 5K as we dodged puddles through the streets of Cleveland made it to the end where the finish line never looked so good for that short of a race.

The best part? The medal! It is the most amazing sparkly brown and orange "B" that I plan to wear to every Browns game moving forward. And the second best thing - a photo bomb with of my friend on Bernie Kosar.


Erin getting her photo with "Bernie"


Before the race; we need the ghostbusters, and the most amazing medals you have ever seen

jump back to the future with PlayhouseSquare

Monday, November 3, 2014
Next Monday marks an important Monday because it's the day of PlayhouseSquare's Jump Back Ball Kick off Ticket party. 

For the past four years, I've attended this fabulous party on the last Saturday of February and this year will be no different. I'll be there and likely wait until the LAST minute to find a dress because I can't decide what to wear. #girlproblems

If you have considered going but missed out last year, don't let it happen to you again this. Friends don't let friends not go to the Jump Back Ball. Tickets sold out in just TEN days last year.





What is it?
This year's event will be full of surprises and excitement that you will not want to miss. The 24th Annual Jump Back Ball includes a VIP Party with special entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, endless cocktails, a gourmet dinner buffet, special activities and a raffle and silent auction. Jump Back Ball is an annual fundraising event and all proceeds benefit PlayhouseSquare.

And: Bring a new, unused personal care item to do be donated to Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and be entered into a raffle to win:
1. Overnight stay at the Wyndham the night of Jump Back Ball
2. VIP upgrade for yourself and a guest
3. Loge tickets to upcoming performances at PlayhouseSquare


When?
Monday, November 10, 5:30 p.m. at the Hofbrahaus

How much?
Partners - $130; Non-Partners - $165
Ticket prices increase the day after the party by $15 plus handling fees. 

RSVP here on Facebook so it will automatically connect to your calendar so you won't miss the kickoff party. 

Wonder what last year's event was like? Here's my recap so you can see why it's a not miss event. 




Bright Pink is really every girl's favorite color

Just a few weeks ago, Cleveland was introduced to Bright Pink and Fab Fest.  I remember hearing about Bright Pink months ago when one of my favorite fitness instructors, Lori Standen of Pure Barre, was named one of the event instructors. I knew Lori so if she was involved, I knew it was an event I didn't want to miss.

What is FabFest you ask? It is the fitness fundraiser for Bright Pink, the only national organization focused on risk reduction and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer. FabFest started in 2009 and 2014 was the first year it came to our great city of Cleveland.

event details

The kick off started with more information and facts than I knew about and the importance of prevention and regular checks. We all nod and say "of course" but do you really take the appropriate steps each year to make sure we are healthy? If you don't, start now and make a year appointment and get to know your breasts as they say. We have to take care of ourselves and I am the first one to cancel and rebook doctor's appointments because 1) I think I'm indestructible and 2)  I push myself to the limits until my body shuts down from one hell of a sinus infection. Cancer does run in my family so it's imperative that we understand our bodies and what is going on in them.


Feeling the burn

The event was a mix of high-intensity 30 minute workouts with yoga, massages and even bra measuring from the girls at Aerie as in American Eagle. (Side note: American Eagle was my JAM back in the day and I still even own a bomber jacket from 1999 that I can't part with because it is coming back in style you guys!)

No makeup selfie in front of a pink glitter curtain
FabFest Cleveland had 150 participants and raised $114,000. Fundraising is still open and you can donate here until October 21, 2014.

Disclosure: I was provided a media pass to attend the event.

a quick weekend getaway

Through several friends who have recently visited this area, I am happy to introduce you to an adorable spot 5 hours west of us that isn't Chicago.

You know those radio ads you have heard for years with "Tim the tool man Taylor" talking about the breeze or leaves or something about the outdoors? The ones that always end with "pure Michigan?"

I finally took good old Tim the Tool Man Taylor up on his offer and my boyfriend and I booked an impromptu weekend getaway. We both had the weekend free - no travel, no weddings and a Browns away game meant it was a sign to take the weekend and get the hell out of downtown Cleveland.

After under an hour of research, we found a small condo in downtown Saugatuck and took off without knowing what exactly we would be doing for two nights. Even though it was raining and sometimes sleeting, we could still experience the how quaint and charming the little downtown was and it reminded me of the set of Dawson's Creek. No joke - I imagine the little town of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Saugatuck have a lot in common with the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.


Accommodations from Bella Vita Spa and Suites

I have a thing for tea and toast and American Spoon is serious about their jam.

The Chocolate Garden - sample truffles for days

As seen at the wineries

While you have to drive almost 1.5 hours to get to the largest cluster of wineries, there are still a few about 45 minutes south of Saugatuck and we made sure to hit four of them on Saturday plus one brewery.

If you want a quiet and affordable weekend, go there - it's only a five hour drive from Cleveland and there is still so much to explore that we couldn't because the weather wasn't cooperating with us for any of the outdoor activities like boat or dune buggy rides.

Go. With your girlfriends for a wine weekend, or mom for a spa weekend or boyfriend for a romantic few days- it's a great little relaxing getaway.



introduction to urban farmer cle

As a downtown Cleveland resident of almost three years, it's utterly exciting when a new restaurant, coffee shop or store opens downtown because it gives me another option. Living on east 4th has amazing perks like fabulous cuisine from all parts of the world with only walking a few footsteps but I love venturing outside of my hood to the other downtown neighborhoods too.

On my runs around downtown, I spotted the Urban Farmer CLE sign going up weeks ago and geeked out because it's in one of my favorite chains of hotels but also has a patio. But wait for it - a patio to brunch on.





My friends and I meet in Ohio City, Tremont and Detroit Shoreway for weekend brunching but downtown isn't on our go to list of places. Yet.

The lovely people behind Urban Farmer CLE treated a group of local bloggers to an amazing spread of appetizers, signature drinks as well as a tasting menu of some fabulous dishes with wine pairings to introduce us to the new restaurant.


Having been to the restaurant only twice (once for a pre-dinner cocktail and appetizers and lunch), I was ready to see what the dinner menu was all about and the team behind the menu did not disappoint one bit.


Taking a photo of Alexa taking a photo


Half the group awaiting the next course

We all dined in a separate room that you can request for larger parties and it comes complete with amazing light fixtures layered in feathers as seen in the photo above. As someone who has never met a sparkly chandelier or piece of jewelry she didn't like, I could really get behind a feather "chandelier" in one of my future rooms.

All amazing delicious

Only one more meal left to try at Urban Farmer CLE and I'm sure brunch will be equally as amazing as lunch and dinner have been over the past month.

Disclosure: I was invited on behalf of the Urban Farmer CLE team and the evening was compensated. 




#guilty

Monday, September 8, 2014
Look.

I could have sworn that I have never taken a selfie. I was 100 percent sure that I never took a selfie. With all this talk about Kim Kardashian and her damn #selfie book, I was soooooo sure that I've never taken one and I don't take them now.

"Look, I don't take selfies," I'd say proudly to my friends. I'd leave that to them to do the Kim Kardashian.

I was wrong.

For whatever reason, I was scanning through my past Instagram photos and reminiscing about the past year or two of the trips I've taken and then stumbled upon these photos that would be classified as selfies.

I am appalled.

What?!?




What the hell was I doing?





Why?




The shock.




The horror.


I promise. No more selfies on my Instagram account.

The upside of this is there's not duck or sparrow faces......














goodbye, summer

Well there it went.

Summer.

All three months of it flew by with only a few 80 degree days mixed in for me to barely get a tan with my Polish, Croatian and Hungarian skin.

My Labor Day weekend went something like this.

Thursday - Pre-season Browns tickets on the most perfect summer/fall night where my friends and I somehow landed on the field during the national anthem. Note: While on the field, my friend and season ticket holder almost was hit in the face with a warm-up punt (or whatever you call that). Luckily she didn't because she would have totally broke her nose and likely half of her face. No photos were allowed on the field, otherwise I would have caught this almost-terrible-accident on camera.

Look closely and you'll find me!


Saturday -  This summer, I haven't made it to the Put-in-Bay like last year. It's still on my list to somehow pull off in the next month or two in between Browns games. Instead of slinging back shots in the Roundhouse, my boyfriend and I spent the afternoon at East Harbor Beach all the way up in Marblehead for a day of relaxation. Believe it or not, Lake Erie doesn't look like the Lake Erie in Cleveland - it has hints of the ocean in it I swear.


The birds preying on us

Sunday - I continued the relaxing weekend with a dinner with friends at Luxe in Ohio City with a patio dinner. I have been to Luxe countless times and never have eaten on the patio. I know - I was shocked too.

With the best server ever, matching outfits with Tony

That's a wrap, summer! Now let's focus on fall fashion with New York Fashion Week kicking off on Thursday and the Browns season starting on Sunday.



it's about how many times you get up

I finally, yes finally, completed my first voyage into Lake Erie all year long to try stand up paddle boarding.

Hallejuah!

After my first try was foiled by Mother Nature with a storm, I was able to cash in my reservation with Nalu and join 10 other strangers to see who would fall into the lake the most times while trying to stand up.


Six.

Six is the number of times I fell exactly how we were directed not to fall in the lake. The instructors spent about 15 minutes giving us newbies basic instructions of the board, the right way to paddle and how not to fall into the lake when we lost our balance. We were supposed to fall big and flat. Not flail around like a crazy person.

I fell six times so incredibly awkwardly that I somehow and ended up with a big bruise on the front of my right ankle.

Besides my lack of graceful falling, my stand up paddle board experience was 1) amazing and 2) would have been five times easier if it weren't as windy as it was.

But holy hell, was it so much fun! You can paddle on your knees or stomach until you get comfortable in the water and on the board. Like a true newbie, I paddled on my knees for only a few minutes and tried to hop up like surfer pro Kelly Slater and lost the first battle to the board and toppled over into the water.

Note - If I would have been paying attention during the instruction, I would have known that you stand with your feet parallel, not like a surfer, which makes standing up a million times easier.

After I figured out the feet positioning, it was smooth sailing (or as smooth as it was going to get with the rough water) for the rest of my time standing up.

Try it yourself before the lake gets too cold. If nothing else, you get a killer workout from so much paddling and may or may not be as graceful as I was.









taking time to see the lights

Sometimes I can make a million excuses of not getting somewhere or seeing someone and lately it has boiled down to work. Work, work, work and more work.

Work has been dominating my life for the past two months in the best way possible. I have been challenged in every which way, slicing and dicing my time to be as efficient as possible, reinforcing my exhaustion with caffeine from my Pour Coffee and wearing bold lipstick to conquer each day like I imagine Beyonce does.

Simply put, I wouldn't have my lack of work/life balance any other way right now.

Last night, I took a little break to make it Edgewater LIVE, a happy hour I've tried to make every Thursday but was either out of town or had a prior commitment.  Since the Cleveland Metroparks took over Edgewater, the beach is completely clean and there are more events than ever and people fill up the beach up on Thursdays for live music, SUP lessons and dinner from the food trucks.

It was a beautiful 80 degree day that was begging me to go to the beach and get out of the coffee shop. So, that's what I did and enjoyed dinner from a food truck and kettle corn for dessert by the beach.


Best kind of happy hour

Over the past year, Mall B in downtown has completely transformed in this beautiful mini park in the middle of the city. I frequent this area on my runs and sprint up and down the incline on top of the convention center and will do a few box jumps on the cement benches. Play frisbee, bring a book to read or your beach towel - it's the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon if you want a beautiful place to relax right in the heart of the city.

Last night,  AHA! Festival of Lights officially turned on it's installation during PechaKucha Night event, where 10-12 speakers present rapid presentations (20 slides for 20 seconds each) about the arts, technology, or all about Cleveland in the case of many of the pechakuchas last night. I knew the first two presenters who talked about the Gay Games and Believe in CLE events that kicked off the night with powerful presentations.

Obscura Digital put on this mind-blowing "Transformations" show on the side of the Public Auditorium, which even made the kids who were running around on the light display sit the hell down and watch in awe of how the building was transformed into a living canvas. It was truly incredible to see it switch from scene to scene and my iPhone 5 doesn't even begin to do the show justice.

Light show on the Public Auditorium


The light installation everyone can't stop talking about


We all need a break from the daily grind and must force ourselves to find a way to decompress from the day. Even if it's just an hour or two for yourself, I find I'm more creative, energized and focused when I have an incredibly lengthy list of to dos.

Let's go Friday - I am winning today.




well that was fun.

It's July 28 and the month has absolutely flown the hell by. 

Where have I been? Where have you been?

I've been all over in Cleveland, drove 12 hours southeast to the Outer Banks then just a quick 5 hours west to Chicago for a weekend.

My family descended upon the Outer Banks for a week where we successfully avoided the hurricane, had daily dance parties by our pool, celebrated LeBron's return back to his hometown and went crabbing every night on the beach with my mom and aunt. If you have ever vacationed with your family, I hope you do this - it's absolutely ridiculous where you walk in the beach with flashlights and get "surprised" every time you come across a big ass sand crab. 



Pool time; selfie for Lebron coming home!!!; Peltz family; toddler Ethan looking fierce with water wings


Greg modeling; sunscreen is a family affair; couples; family bonding time

Every Sunday so far this summer has been pretty much spent on the volleyball courts followed by corn hole and our new favorite game, the list, over lots of summer shandy's. We win some games, we lose some games but we always end at Sunset Grille to finish out the weekend. 

This is an intense game.

One Saturday night, we all decided to throw it back like it was Thursday straight to 1983 or '85 or '87, depending on what you were born and partied in our best neon, denim and spandex combination for the Ultimate 80's party.  A little rain couldn't keep us away (or our hair flat) and we danced to Madonna and Whitney mashups like it was nobody's business. 

Don Johnson and me; Tony posing with his flock of seagulls hair; Madonna wins with the best costume of the group; taking over the dance floor like a champ

One of two of my favorite "tastes" happened in Tremont on an absolutely beautiful 80 degree day where I ate my way through the streets of Tremont. And, interestingly enough put on a banana costume and tried to do my best Timberlake impression of "bring it on down to bananaville" instead of omeletteville. Why not I ask you???

View of Professor; my best impersonation; so many choices of where to eat

It's been a busy summer, people! Let's keep it going!


your summer = planned Part II

We are halfway through the summer. Are you bored?

I hope the answer is a resounding "No!"

It's absolutely impossible in my book with the 80 degree weather Cleveland has been receiving, the RNC announcement and the LeBron is coming back any day now to his castle in Bath.

So, you say you need some more events to go to? Choose wisely!

Booze your face off and eat events:

12th annual Taste of Tremont - It has been a long two years since I've been to the Taste of Tremont. Being out of town the past two years, it is a truly fun and normally sweaty as hell event where Professor Street is packed with people of all ages and parking lots filled of local bands.

When: Taste of Tremont, This Sunday, July 20, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free, parking is just about hilarious over there so I suggest you Lyft of Uber.




Burning River Fest - It's a beer festival to literally remember when our river infamously caught on fire in 1969. I mean...it seems to the be the only thing the national media likes to report on so you might as well as take yourself plus friends to the best little part of Cleveland in the summer - Whiskey Island and Wendy Park.

When: Burning River Fest, Saturday, July 25, 6 p.m to 11 p.m. Tickets are $12 to $50. And if you are coming from the west, expect long delays to actually get there because the exit is closed. CLOSED for six months.




Twilight at the Zoo - Years ago I went and had a smashing time with friends but haven't been back because it's the conundrum of two events back to back - Krusty's Summer Camp is the next day. Can you do both? Say it with me, YES YOU CAN! There are 18 brands throughout the zoo and numerous drink stations. See your favorite animals, take some selfies and enjoy a Friday night at the Zoo.

When: Twilight at the Zoo, Friday, August 1, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are sold out but you can try your hand at the giveaway here.

Tastings on the Terrace at the Cleveland Museum of Art - The Art Museum is at it again with a new series of summertime events that I can get behind with Tastings on the Terrace.  Each Friday through 8/29, Provenance will feature a select drink “tasting” menu and pair it with complimentary small bites from the chef served outside on the rooftop terrace. What sounds better than that? Absolutely nothing!

When: Tastings on the Terrace, Friday, July 18, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $8-10 per drink. This week's event will feature summertime wines with a Mediterranean flatbread.


Hydrate, stretch and work off the boozing events:


Believe in CLE - The ladies of Inner Bliss are at it again with another evening outdoor event for early August on Mall B downtown Cleveland. Get ready for a 75 minute vinyasa flow with a surprise speaker to start off the night's event. Remember to sign up here FIRST!

When: Believe in CLE, Friday, August 8, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Free event.

Cupid's Undie Run Volleyball Tournament - You know how much I love playing volleyball if you follow my Instagram feed because Sundays at Wendy Park are my favorite activity in the summer. Join me, grab a team and sign up for the tournament. Last year, there were special drinks and lots of people playing in their underwear. Well, not really but the benefit is the Children's Tumor Foundation.

When: Cupids Volleyball Tournament, Saturday, August 10 at 11 a.m. $140 for a team, $40 for corn hole.

our losing team


Rooftop Yoga with Harness Cycle - My favorite spin studio is bringing rooftop yoga to Clevelanders every Sunday on top of the Federal Knitting Mill in Ohio City.  Make sure to sign up early because this Sunday's event is already wait listed.

When: Rooftop Yoga with Harness Cycle, Every Sunday at 11:30 a.m.









family vacation or bust

Family vacations.

Breathe that phrase in.

For some, it can cause major anxiety because one week with your relatives can be quite interesting, dramatic or down right ridiculous if your family knows how to have a good time.

As a teenager, I loved taking our yearly trips to the Outer Banks with my family, which always consisted of some mix of cousins, aunts, uncles and my brother and I battling it out for who got to bring a friend that summer.

Summer of 1999

Luckily for both of us, our parents were friends with their parents so we always had between one to three friends on our trips. Our first trip was in 1999 and the last one was somewhere around 2003 to the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks.


Summer of 2001

As a 31-year-old, I haven't spent an entire week with my extended family in almost 10 years.


Family photo circa 2001

One beach house.

11 people.

2 kids under the age of 2.5 years old.

2 new significant others.

Even though Hurricane Arthur is threatening our Saturday arrival date, I truly believe we will have no problem at Saturday at 1 p.m. for check-in time for our Corolla beach house.

Why?

Because we are years over due for a family vacation and family vacations are where you make memories with the people you don't spend enough time with as an adult. We have work, friends, more work commitments and its easy to let that "other stuff" get in the way of the important parts of life like spending time with the important people.

get me to our pool. now.

I look forward to spending the next 7 days with my family and capturing moments that we will remember forever, laugh about at our next holiday gathering and refer back to for the next 10 years.

Now, Arthur, I'm going to need to swing away from the coast and head out more east. Please and thank you!